Feb 10, 2016 (POWAY) About ten supporters showed up in front of the Poway School District Headquarters. They came to demand two things: Fairness for minority students and their parents, and a meeting with School Board President Michelle O’Connor-Ratcliff.
Chris Garnier, who has given a Strategic lawsuit Against Public Participation (SLAPP) back in October, for alleged threats against school personnel, cannot have any participation in his child’s school activities. He is not permitted in school grounds, cannot pick up his child from school, and since this is for 3 years might even be presented for being present during graduation.
This is a parent that has even run for office in the school, Painted Rock Elementary, and won. Then the rules were changed to make sure he did not win. According to Garnier, the troubles with the school started when the new principal showed up, and until then, he had no issues.
Garnier remarked: “ “The biggest things we me and my family have been fighting for in this district is inclusion.”
This includes all students, black, white, transgender, all students. “These racially charged words of ethnigggers, and spray painting and death threats need to stop, immediately. And Poway Unified School District needs to understand that this kind of hate speech just incites.”
Garnier also said that they have been begging her to meet with him and others that are working with him.
Reverend Shane Harris, President of the local chapter of the National Action Network (NAN) remarked “We are not going to allow the Poway Unifified School District any longer to discount and forget about the minorities who live in this community and who go to your schools.”
He added, “and today we are standing for them, those who are discounted.”
According to Harris, Garnier and others are standing for “racial equality in the educational system.” This campaign is just the beginning Harris also said. They will be organizing a community forum with papers from multiple north county school districts, to deal with the racial disparities in these districts. They also explained that this is but the beginning and that he has the support of the American for Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU and the National Association for the Advancements of Colored People.
After the short rally the group walked into the lobby of where Harris asked for a meeting with Ratcliff, and that may occur in the next two weeks. He also was able to have a good exchange with the head of personnel.